SUPERNATURAL: Season 1, Disc 2, Episodes 5-8 Review

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Rick Trivett returns to the world of Supernatural...


After a bit of a limp finish to the first disc, it has taken a while to get up the motivation to put the next Supernatural DVD into the player...


Bloody Mary.
Perhaps it is because this episode was written from a story by Eric Kripke, or maybe it is because we again have a change of director, whatever the reason, Bloody Mary sees the show return to top form. Rather than relying on a convenient demon or restless spirit, it once again draws on the rich tapestry of folklore and uses the “Bloody Mary” legend as its basis. Not only that, it makes full use of just about every other myth surrounding mirrors. Yes, there are the screaming teenage girls, but the overall feel of the show has improved tenfold. It is less the low budget horror and more the psychological thriller. Some serious thought went into this one and it shows.


Skin.
A little bit of a filler episode, based around the story of a shape-shifter. In this case the shape-shifter is a genetic mutation in the X-Men style, who does not fit in. There’s a surprise. However, the story is good, as is the action. I’m not keen on the fast-forward opening sequence, followed by the rewind to find how we got there, but this is standard practice in many series. There are some good gooey moments when they find the creatures shed skins, and a quite graphic change sequence.


Hook Man.
Right from the outset it is clear that this episode is going to be bad. It starts in a college sorority house so there is lots of girlie screaming. The first victim has taken his girlfriend off to a quiet spot in his car for a bit of passion and wants to take things further than the girl is comfortable with. It all gets very Friday the 13th. Another restless spirit story, only this time it is a one handed man with a hook on his other arm. Lots of screaming, blood everywhere, scratched walls and metal signs. It is the second story from John Shiban, Skin being the first, but whilst Skin was watchable, this is dross and a return to bad eighties horror.


Bugs.
Whilst this episode shows up the limit of special effects at the time, it is by far and away the best one on disc two. Rachel Nave & Bill Coakley get the writing credit for this one and Kim Manners has his second outing as director (Ep.3. Dead in the Water being his first). More thought has gone into this one and it takes a couple of swipes at the establishment, which is always a good thing if it helps to get the message out. First, there is the capitalist raping nature for the sake of a profit, and second, and more importantly, the maltreatment of the American First Nations by the western immigrants. The action centres around a new luxury housing development, which, as it turns out, is being built on land that was ethnically cleansed by the US cavalry and cursed so that no white-man can live there. The episode also sheds a bit of light on the back-story of Sam Winchester, the younger of the two brothers.

This second disc of Supernatural has, unlike the first, left me keen to stick the next one in the player. Apart from the Hooked Man, and making allowances for how much special effects have changed in ten years, it is very entertaining and well worth persevering with the series for. Bring on disc three!

R.J.Trivett (Rick) is the writer of comic fantasy series the Lyonnesse Tales. www.lyonnessetales.com He hasn’t been able to give up the day-job yet, whatever it is, but lives in high hopes. When not reading, writing or watching a boxset, he tours around the UK and Europe on a motorcycle looking for interesting roads and sampling the local equivalent of beer. 

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